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Complainant Name:
Brighton & Hove City Council

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Argus (Brighton)

Complaint:

Brighton & Hove City Council complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the newspaper had reported the council's response to a story about complaints received from residents regarding the condition of roads in the local area but had distorted its position by omitting key details. The complainant said that the article highlighted how long the council had taken to fix a pothole but failed to report a crucial passage of a written statement from the council, pointing out that the authority received a complaint about the pothole in question ‘yesterday' and attended to it ‘today'.

Resolution:

The newspaper did not accept that the article was misleading to readers as the main thrust of the piece was that road surfaces in the area were poor and it had carried a spokesperson's comment that the council was carrying out regular repairs and that an emergency repair had been ordered on the specific pothole mentioned in the piece. After some discussion, the complaint was eventually resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication of the following letter:

Regarding your report on January 15 about a pothole in Standean Close, Coldean, we would like to point out that we went to inspect it on the day after it was reported and ordered an urgent repair. All councils are struggling with potholes after a hard winter. But we are doing our best, prioritising the worst first.

Cllr Geoffrey Theobald
Cabinet councillor for environment

Brighton & Hove City Council

Date Published: 28/04/2011



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